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Lyrics by Joel Mabus

Firelake

(Fossil 390cd)


All Lyrics 1990 Joel Mabus
except "I'm On My Way" -- traditional
all rights reserved -- do not post this material to another website!

Scroll down or click on title to read the lyrics.

To learn more about this CD, click here
To order this or any album, click here

Hopelessly Midwestern
Hard To Say
Snow On The Water
I'm On My Way 
Oscar And Minnie
A Better Voice
Love Is A Song

   [note -- a new version of this song, recorded in 2007, with altered lyrics is on my album, RETOLD]
Hopelessly Midwestern
words and music 1990 Joel Mabus


If you live life in the middle and not on the edge -
You're hopelessly midwestern.
If a big Saturday means clipping the hedge -
You're hopelessly midwestern.
If you shop at Sears, drink a lot of iced tea,
You like to dance the polka and watch TV,
Then the jury is in and the critics agree -
You're hopelessly midwestern.

[Chorus] Hopelessly Midwestern - cornfed boys and girls 
Hopelessly Midwestern - square pegs in this 
big round world.
Now, you can go from sea to shining sea,
But right in the middle - that's the place to be,
And if you like it like that, you're a lot like me -
You're hopelessly midwestern.

If you wish every highway could be flat and straight -
You're hopelessly midwestern.
If you still think sushi looks a lot like bait -
You're hopelessly midwestern.
You like your potatoes mashed, your chicken fried,
Your green beans boiled and your apples pied,
And you ain't trusted nothing since Rock Hudson died,
You're hopelessly midwestern.
[Chorus:]

If annual rainfall is a real hot topic -
You're hopelessly midwestern.
And if the Pocono Mountains sound kind of exotic -
You're hopelessly midwestern.
If you like Gerald Ford almost as much as you like Betty,
And a big corn field looks mighty pretty,
And you'd rather go to hell than to New York City,
You're hopelessly midwestern.

[Chorus]

Hopelessly... Impossibly... Irreparably Midwestern.

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Hard To Say
words and music 1990 Joel Mabus


He's a little bit nervous - he's a little bit shy.
He could be in love, but he don't know why
He should feel that way - 
It's so hard to say.

He's taking it easy - he's playing it cool.
When you're nobody's lover, you're nobody's fool;
He's been hurt before - 
Yeah, he knows the score.
But he's a little bit worried he's losing his grip -
Afraid of what might happen if he should slip
And give his heart away - It's so hard to say.

And it's so hard to say those easy words - I Love You -
When so much depends on if she says -
Darlin', I Love You Too.

So he's asking no questions - he don't want to hear
What she might say if he made it clear
That he loves her so -
He don't want to know,
Because when love is the question, a lover just might
Hold on a little too tight................
Or turn and run away - It's so hard to say.

And it's so hard to say those easy words - I Love You -
When so much depends on if she says - 
Darlin', I Love You Too. 

So he's a little bit nervous - he's a little bit shy.
He could be in love, but he don't know why
He should feel that way - 
It's so hard to say.

Maybe some other day - it's so hard to say.
Say it some other way - ahh, it's so hard to say.
.........................ahh, it's so hard to say.

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Snow On The Water
words and music 1990 Joel Mabus


You can steal my money - you can wreck my car -
You can cut the strings off this old guitar.
You can do what you will, but you won't get the best of me
You can take back the love that you swore was mine -
You can turn out the lights but the stars still shine -
'Cause where you put your treasure - that's where your heart will be.

It's snow on the water - Snow on the water, 
Such beautiful snow on the water,
Gone..........Gone..........Gone.

You can touch it on your body - you can put it in the bank -
You can nail it up in the suburbs plank by plank -
You can drink it from a bottle - sail it on the deep blue sea.
You can rock it in the cradle - seek it in a friend,
Why, some people fight about it to the bitter end,
But where you put your treasure, that's where your heart will be.

It's snow on the water - Snow on the water, 
Such beautiful snow on the water,
Gone..........Gone..........Gone.


Tonight I'm thinking 'bout my friends who have gone before -
I sure do hate to think I'll never see them no more;
But sometimes in my dreams, I can hear them talk to me.
And when the time comes for me to go
I want my friends to consider the snow,
Because where you put your treasure, that's where your heart will be.

It's snow on the water - Snow on the water, 
Such beautiful snow on the water,
We're gone..........Not really gone..........Just gone.

It's snow on the water - Snow on the water, 
Such beautiful snow on the water,
Gone..........Gone..........Gone.

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I'm On My Way (trad.)

Once there lived a man named Job
He lived In the land of Nod
He was the only man for miles around
That kept the commandments of God
Now the devil, he got jealous
He went talkin' to God one day
He said "Remove your hand from a gospel man
He gonna curse you to your face."

He said, there's nothin' you can do
Gonna turn him around
There's nothin' you can do 
Gonna turn him around
'Cause he done signed up -- made up his mind
He's on his way -- he's on his way

Now the devil put his hand on Job
And Job felt downright weak
He had boils on the top of his head
And sores on the bottom of his feet
Job's old friends come talkin' to him
They numbered from one to five
They said, "Job, you're sick and you won't get well
You better curse your God and die."

He said, there's nothin' you can do
Gonna turn me around
There's nothin' you can do 
Gonna turn me around
'Cause I done signed up -- made up my mind
I'm on my way -- yes I'm on my way

Then Job's man come runnin' to him 
Said, "Job, I got something to say.
The fire done come from heaven last night
And carried your cattle away."
Job looked right straight at the man
And said, "I don't have nothing to say
For the Lord, God in heaven, He giveth
And the Lord God taketh away."

And there's nothin' you can do
Gonna turn me around
There's nothin' you can do 
Gonna turn me around
'Cause I done signed up -- made up my mind
I'm on my way -- yes I'm on my way

I'm on my way to the Kingdom land
I'm on my way to the Kingdom land
And if you don't go on my journey there
I'm on my way -- yes I'm on my way

Then Job's wife come talkin' to him 
With the devil right in her eye.
She said, "Oooh, you're sick and you won't get well
You better curse your God and die."
Job looked right straight at the woman
Then he looked up in the sky.
Said, "Woman, you sound like the foolish one
But you sure don't sound like my wife.

I'm on my way to the Kingdom land
I'm on my way to the Kingdom land
And if you don't go on my journey there
I'm on my way -- yes I'm on my way

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Oscar And Minnie
words and music 1990 Joel Mabus

This is a song about Oscar and Minnie.
Oscar And Minnie lived a long time ago.
Minnie was a teacher in a one room schoolhouse.
Oscar was a farmer like his father before.
And Minnie could sing and play piano;
Oscar'd play his Hawaiian guitar.
If they came from nowhere, well that don't matter -
You find your music right where you are.
You sing your song right where you are.

So Oscar and Minnie, they got married.
Nineteen twelve was the year that they did.
Oscar raised the crops as a tenant farmer.
Minnie ran the house and raised the kids.
And when the whole world went to war
Oscar's hand stayed on the plow.
It was beans and corn and hay and sorghum -
Oscar and Minnie - they showed 'em how.
Oscar and Minnie sure showed 'em how.

Oscar and Minnie grew old together.
Together they loved and kept the flame.
The children had kids; now the kids have families.
The more things change, how they stay the same.
Oscar and Minnie still live together -
They live on as a part of me.
The music they make is sweet and simple -
It's what I am; it's who I'll be.
It's what I am; it's who I'll be.

Minnie could sing and play piano;
Oscar'd play his Hawaiian guitar.
The song they sing is sweet and simple -
You find your music right where you are.
You sing your song right where you are.

This is a song for Oscar and Minnie.
Oscar and Minnie lived a long time ago.

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A Better Voice
words and music 1990 Joel Mabus


Sometimes I wish I had a better voice
to sing my song for you -
A voice so brilliant, rich and clear -
Soaring and gliding through the air,
Hanging the melody in your ear
The way good singers do.
But my voice cracks like a back porch chair,
Growls and groans like a big black bear,
Full of whispers, kinks and snares
And I sometimes miss the key -
But nobody sings my song like me.

Sometimes I wish I had a better life --
like the folks that's got it made -
Wearing fine clothes and making the scene -
Tooling 'round town in a big limousine,
No ifs or buts or in-betweens; 
Got all my aces played.
But I get by from day to day,
Make a little less money go a long, long way.
And if I ain't got much, at least I got my say
'Bout the way things gonna be,
'Cause nobody lives my life but me.

And sometimes I wish this was a better world
and I was a better man -
Taking the chances and giving my life,
Feeding the hungry and leading the fight
To shelter the homeless and turn back the night
And do every last thing I can.
But I'm no saint - I'm faint of heart;
Too weak to run, too slow to start,
But I'll pitch in and I'll do my part
When it comes around to me
'Cause nobody loves this world like me.

And sometimes I wish I had a better voice
to sing my song for you -
A voice so brilliant, sweet and clear -
Soaring and gliding through the air,
Placing the melody in your ear
The way good singers do.
But my voice cracks like a back porch chair,
Growls and groans like a big black bear,
Full of whispers, kinks and snares
And I sometimes miss the key -
But nobody sings my song like me.

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Love Is A Song
words and music 1990 Joel Mabus


Love is a song -
Love has got a melody.
Sing it along with me - Love is a song.
Love is a song -
Love is not a short short story -
It goes on and on and on -
Love is a song.

Love is not a drama - Love is not a one-act play.
It's more than just the words you say -
Love is a song.
Love is not a novel - can't find it in a book for sale,
Love is not a fairy tale -
Love is a song.

Love is a song -
Love has got a melody.
Sing it along with me - Love is a song
Love is a song -
Love is not a short short story -
It goes on and on and on -
Love is a song.

Love is not a lecture - Love is not a sermonette
Haven't you heard it yet ?
Love is a song.
Love is not a fable - true love is not a mystery
Oh, isn't it plain to see -
Love is a song.

Love is a song -
Love has got a melody.
Sing it in harmony - Love is a song

Love is a song -
Love is not a short short story -
It goes on and on and on -
Love is a song.

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  2001 Joel Mabus
Last revised: January 24, 2015 .